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Hotel application open for input

The model of the proposed Oaks Hotel.
The model of the proposed Oaks Hotel. Di Stanley

HAILED the answer to Emerald's short-term visitor accommodation, the proposed Oaks Hotel on the corner of Opal and Clermont streets is open for public consultation.

Residents have until June 7 to have their say about the eight-storey, 120-room accommodation complex complete with swimming pool and rooftop terrace.

The development application states the proposed plan "seeks to address an identified need for high-quality, short-term residential accommodation", targeting tourists and visitors to Emerald.

"The development represents a significant investment in the future of the town and will help to enhance its vitality and viability by allowing more visitors to stay overnight," the DA stated.

The Emerald Shire Planning Scheme 2009 dictates one parking space must be available for every room plus one additional, but the Oaks Hotel application falls 63 short. The plan includes 68 spaces, and the application argues the development should not be stalled on the basis of car parks due to a previous application approved by the council which fell short of the required number.

The DA said the lack of car parks would not be an issue.

"Given the short-term nature of the accommodation, it is anticipated that the majority of customers will travel to the site by taxi or bus, rather than car," it stated.

Customers would also be encouraged to use public transport or walk to local businesses within the township.

"The current planning scheme is outdated and does not reflect the significant growth pressures that Emerald is experiencing as a result of the resources boom," it stated.

"The urban footprint of Emerald is highly constrained and as such, there is a need to increase the density of development beyond that currently envisaged by the planning scheme to make more efficient use of land and infrastructure within the existing town."


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